7 FEBRUARY 1969, Page 31

A hundred years ago

From the 'Spectator.' 6 February 1869—Count Bismarck either is persuaded that Germany must fight before her new position in Europe can be a settled one, or he at least wishes to be thought to entertain this belief. His speeches in the Lower House of the Prussian Parliament on the ordi- nance for the confiscation of the private property of the ex-King of Hanover, and on that for con- fiscating the property of the Elector of Hesse Cassel,—to both of which the House has assented by large majorities—were threatening . . . Count Bismarck admits that the situation was still graver in the autumn before the change of government in the Principalities. but his language is still alarming enough. For instance, "Without being able to rely on peace, peace has not the value that it ought to have for a great nation. A peace which is exposed to the danger of being disturbed every day, every week. is not peace in the true acceptance of the term. A war is often less prejudicial to the general prosperity than a peace so ill-assured. (Cheers.)"